Juan Diego Gutiérrez is a skilled Peruvian midfielder whose football has led him to travel the world. Today he already has three matches with a shirt Solola football club (Guatemala’s first division team) and that he told Trom about his experience playing in that Central American country. former eye sports university He played before in Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Bolivia. Yes, he is kind of a backpacker.
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How does it feel to play at Sololá Fútbol Club?
The truth is good. Obviously, I’ve gone through many changes in every aspect. To change your life to a new league, you also have to adapt to different football, different teammates, different playing styles, new stadiums, well, we are getting better.
What is different you found in Guatemala?
The gameplay is different from what we are used to in Peru. The fields are different from Peru because in our country there is more stringency in terms of the condition of the fields and this helps to develop a better offer. Here he is a little late on this issue, but here we are.
How is the COVID-19 pandemic in Guatemala?
The city I’m in is much better than Peru when I come here. In my team there were neither cases nor close ones. So, we are good at it.
You’ve already been at Solalá for three matches, how do you feel?
That’s how it is. We just played the third game (his team lost 2-1 to Antigua GFC). There is no doubt that every player needs some time of adaptation to get to know the opponents and teammates to feel comfortable on the field and gain confidence. There, Sololá Fútbol Club, we try to be champions, because we are a humble team, because the budget is not as high as that of other teams. However, we played those first three games against the most demanding opponents, and I think the team was up to the task. So this is very important.
What drew you to go play at Solalá FC in Guatemala?
Live a different experience, the truth in Peru I didn’t feel comfortable, I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I don’t speak for the club. My expectations were different this year and I didn’t have the opportunities I would have liked. I had a few options from abroad and I always love to play abroad and learn about new countries and new cultures and take it as a new opportunity that football gives me.
What do you mean that you do not have opportunities in Peru?
I don’t know if I see it that way, but it frustrated me a lot when last year I had some options to play in teams that are not great but important and interesting. I was so excited to be there and finish an entire year with continuity so I can do better. For various reasons the options fell. So, the truth is that at that moment I was frustrated, I even thought about not playing anymore, and didn’t really want to, and that’s when I started weighing the options that were coming. I took Solalá as an opportunity to come back to enjoy the field and have a good time.
Have you signed Solalá all season?
Yes, I signed for one year.
Solala has another Peruvian named Julio Garcia, with whom I imagine it is easier to adapt?
The truth is that I have a good relationship with him both on and off the field. Moreover, it helped me a lot that he came. He’s playing at a high level and so it’s very important for him to come. We hope to open the doors to more Peruvians.
You have played in Denmark, Sweden, Canada and Bolivia, so what about the experiences of playing in those countries?
I enjoyed them all and had different things to enjoy. I grew up in all of them as a player and as a person. So, when I had the opportunity to come to Guatemala, I remembered that the previous experiences had been good for me and that I undoubtedly loved continuing with the idea of having experiences abroad.
At the beginning of the interview you told me that Guatemalan football is different from Peruvian football, do you mean it is more combative?
He is very combative, there is a lot of friction due to the problem of the pitches which do not help much to play football well and put on a good show. You fight a lot, you split the ball and you rub a lot. In particular, this does not suit me very much and you have to adapt to this kind of situation. Sometimes it is not the team’s decision but other factors such as the ball, the field and the opponent.
I imagine you get hit a lot in games?
There is yes, but not much. But as I told you, the friction becomes intense with the courts which are not in the best condition.
Would you like to return to a great team in Peru?
At my age, I am open to all possibilities, I do not close doors to anything. If I have to go back to Bear tomorrow, I’ll be back happy. And if I have to stay here and go to a high-level team, I’m happy too. If I had to stay in place too. I already see the fact of playing football as a very beautiful thing and I should enjoy it wherever it is and appreciate it.
The important thing is that Solalá FC gives you continuity.
I’ve always said it, a non-continuous player is a player who is having a bad time. Sometimes it’s better to be on a smaller team, where you can improve, than on a big team where you’re not playing and fighting for continuity. But you need to know where you stand in your career and prioritize.
They criticize what they don’t know.
What would you say to those who criticize Peruvian players who go to unknown leagues?
You said it yourself. They criticize tournaments they don’t know. When I moved from the U to Denmark I was also criticized because I was in the U and we won the Apertura and I was going to play in Denmark. However, I tell you in most of the tournaments I’ve been to, the level seemed to me to be higher than the Peruvian league. Moreover, being in Peru you are in your comfort zone and whenever you go to a club you have friends there and meet the coach. On the other hand, there are difficulties being outside because you don’t know anyone and they play differently than you. Sometimes you want to be played on feet and they play it for you in space or they don’t give it to you as clearly as you want it to be. And suddenly the coach, even though he thinks you’re different, doesn’t like your type of game because he wants something more physical and vertical. All these kinds of difficulties are appreciated more and I see them from this side. Playing outside is both athletic and personal growth.
Finally, what is your relationship with your coach?
I’m lucky because it gives me so much freedom. It depends on the tactics of the game, but it gives me a lot of freedom and I appreciate it. Because in a lot of places, the player is a little limited in the subject of movement and travel. Here they give me the freedom to move around, ask for the ball and play.